Suicide is a growing problem across the country, including in the La Crosse area.
To remember all of those who have been lost to suicide and raise awareness, the La Crosse Area Suicide Prevention Initiative held the 11th annual Suicide Prevention Awareness Event Tuesday night at Riverside Park.
Chairs were set out to represent people from our area who have been recently lost to suicide. Family members also got to share stories of their loved ones.
20 people took their own lives in La Crosse County last year, and Amy Kuester from Great Rivers 211 says they hope events like this help reduce that number.
"It is prevalent and we want to make sure that everyone knows that it is preventable as well," said Kuester. "So helping everybody gain tools, as far as learning how to identify and help somebody that's struggling with suicidal thoughts because it doesn't have to be a professional, it can be anybody that can help someone."
A suicide prevention summit will also be held Wednesday at the La Crosse Center. The event starts in the South Hall at 8:30 a.m.